The Hermit: Waite’s Symbols

A hermit withdraws from society for a life of religious contemplation. Whereas Waite’s predecessors interpreted the Hermit as one seeking spiritual enlightenment, Waite goes to great pains to explain that his Hermit has attained it. the Hermit is in the same class as the two other spiritual members of the first ten of the major arcana, the High Priestess and the Hierophant. In order of their presence in the deck, they were formerly said to represent inner spirtuality, external spiritual authority, and the path to spiritualty. Waite now gives them to represent the spirituality of the Christian religion, the physical presence of the Christian church, and the success or failure of the individual Christion, i.e., attainment of the wisdom of life’s spiritual journey, versus whatever lies below.

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